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Max quickest in Qatar FP1

Published on 19 November 2021 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen clocked the fastest lap in the first free practice session of the Qatar Grand Prix. The Dutchman topped the timing boards at the Losail International Circuit ahead of Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

It is the first time Formula 1 races in Qatar, not even a test has taken place at the circuit. Hence, when the pitlane opens, the teams are eager to get their drivers out on track, with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen leading the way.

Max steers his Red Bull RB16B out of the garage four minutes into the session. He does so on the hard Pirelli compound. His first timed lap is the quickest thus far, but with drivers getting more familiar with the circuit each passing lap, the times tumble rapidly.

After 25 minutes there is a brief 10-minute lull with only a handful of drivers going round. After that, most cars head back out, mainly sporting the soft tyres. It means the lap times continue to drop as the drivers utilise the extra grip.

Initially, Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda sets the pace, before Max clocks the best time of the session.

In the closing stages, Gasly is able to snatch P2 away from Bottas. In the meantime, Max has gone out again, but his focus on a race simulation on the softs mean he does not better his lap time.

Contest GP Qatar: win a by Max Verstappen signed RBR Driver Cap 2021!

Results first free practice Qatar:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:23.723 22
2Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:24.160+0.437s28
3Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:24.194+0.471s24
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:24.509+0.786s21
5Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:24.648+0.925s27
6Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:24.713+0.990s26
7Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:24.790+1.067s27
8Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:24.915+1.192s22
9Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:24.972+1.249s23
10Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:25.215+1.492s19
11Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:25.291+1.568s24
12Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:25.328+1.605s19
13Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:25.688+1.965s24
14Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:25.757+2.034s23
15Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:25.828+2.105s25
16George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:25.871+2.148s24
17Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:25.905+2.182s21
18Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:26.699+2.976s21
19Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:26.712+2.989s11
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:27.500+3.777s16